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Free online mediation services are now available for busy parents

laptop on bed

The Michigan Supreme Court has created a new way to mediate parenting time conflicts and other common circuit court domestic issues.

MI-Resolve Family System is a free text-message based mediation system catered towards working parents that might need to meet on weekends or after mediation centers are closed. Users will be able to message a mediator using a smartphone or computer to work through parenting time issues and other common circuit court domestic issues.

Annette Wells is the executive director of mediation services in Gaylord, Michigan.

She says mediators from MI-Resolve can keep logistical conversations healthy and productive for families. She hopes the program will improve access to mediation for parents who can't meet during business hours or travel to the mediation offices.

“Having a voice and a plan in what's going to work best for your kids is very empowering, it's going to help in the long run. And MI-resolve really makes that easy, accessible, and free for parties to have help with those tough decisions,” Wells says.

Traditional mediation services will still be provided, but Wells says MI-Resolve is another option that might be better for some families.

“Maybe they just want to talk about the summer schedule. Or just holidays or specific events happening if their family. So they don't need a lot of time maybe, but they want a neutral mediator to help facilitate that conversation,”

In those cases, Wells believes MI-Resolve could be a good opinion for parents.

In a press release, Chief Justice Elizabeth Clement said the program offers a more convenient way to solve parental time issues.

“The MI-Resolve Family System turns what can feel like a daunting process for many families into a much more convenient and streamlined way of navigating an important issue.”

Interested parties can learn more by calling their nearest Community Dispute Resolution Center or visiting the website.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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